GWOB and Federation Tour

Hacker, maker, artistic, and coworking spaces are beautiful things. They’re the clubhouses we always wanted as kids, the mad scientist labs we dreamed of, the productive communities we’ve longed for. It’s amazing how they’ve sprung up of their own accord across the US, following the lead of Europe and Germany. Those in America have been mostly boot-strapped – small groups of friends pulling together the money, space, and tools mostly by sheer force of will.Three years ago at conferences, people were talking about possibly making communities based on the ideals of creation and community. Two years ago, it was about the space you were building. Last year, it was about how we might learn from each other. Now, it’s starting to be about an easy way to communicate, and what we can do for others.

I’m going on tour to twelve hacker and maker spaces across the US to talk about both how they can learn from each other and how they can use their powers for good. There are two groups I’ll be representing : GWOB and one we jokingly call The Federation.


The spaces we’re hitting are: Crash Space (LA) 9/7 8p; Noise Bridge (SF) 9/9 7p; i3 (Detroit) 9/16 7p; Pumping Station:One (Chicago) 9/17 7:30p; LVL1 (Louisville) 9/18 1p; Freeside (Atlanta) 9/19 TBD; AlphaOne / NYC Resistor (NYC) 9/26 TBD; HacDC (DC) 9/27 TBD; Buffalo Hack (Buffalo NY) 9/28 7p; Artisan’s Asylum (Somerville/Boston) 9/29 TBD; NedSpace (Portland) 10/2 TBD; Jigsaw Renaissance (Seattle) 10/3

The Federation is about the actual setting up and operations of spaces. We’ve all be inventing the wheel on our own, over and over again – why not have a forum through which we can exchange ideas, best practices, and teach/learn from each other? That’s what this group is about. We’re nebulous and nameless, mostly because we don’t want to even threaten to federate or francise this amazing movement – we just want to support it. I’ll be inviting people to take place in the constellation survey (patterns in space, get it?), to look at our space kit (project mangement system of tasks which help spaces get established and be sustainable), and to join in our Yammer conversation.

GWOB +) (unofficially “Geeks Without Borders” – there’s some legal vagueness with a 2003 org of the same name) is an international coalition of passionate problem solvers working together to assist people whose survival is threatened by lack of access to technology or communications due to violence, neglect, or catastrophe. We’ll be presenting this idea to each space to see what feedback they might have to give, how they might like to participate, and to link them together (if they’re willing). A world-wide hack-a-thon will take place in the 24 hours before our big party, with prizes announced 10.10.10 at 10:10a PST.

Details on the federation will emerge around mid-September.
Details on the tour can be found here.
Prizes, registration, and details of the hack-a-thon can be found here.

Cheers, and happy making!

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